IN-FORM Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Chris Riley admits it is a “dream” gleaning the benefit from the club’s dominant pack.
Trinity’s forwards were rampant at times during Sunday’s 44-24 win over Hull KR, laying the platform for Riley’s second hat-trick during his time at the club.
Tipped by many to finish bottom of Super League, they have instead opened with two successive victories and yesterday further bolstered their squad by signing England Knights centre Joe Arundel from Hull FC until the end of the year.
Riley’s treble, meanwhile, arrived inside just 11 second-half minutes and he said: “They came bang, bang, bang. We had a roll on and I had myself in a position where I could score the tries.
“It is nice to have a centre in Reece Lyne, who unselfishly passed me the ball when he could probably have gone himself and we played on the back of our pack going forward well.
“As a winger it is a dream to have a pack like that leading you forward and making sure you get the ball in the right areas.”
And, rather than being caught up in the bottom four come July, Riley insists the side that finished 12th last term has a top-eight play-off spot in its sights.
“It is a short season,” he said. “We had a fantastic finish last year, one that we were really proud of and we only just missed out on the play-offs.
“It’s important to get on a good run now and, hopefully, if we can finish the season off like we did last year and get on a little roll, who knows?
“We have scored a lot of points in our first two games and we did in pre-season as well.
“I think our attacking game’s there, we just need to keep improving our defence and not leaking as many tries.”
Meanwhile, Arundel, 23, is looking to quickly revive his career at Belle Vue.
He emerged as a three-quarter of some talent at hometown Castleford Tigers before moving to Hull with much promise ahead of the 2013 campaign.
However, he struggled to make a place his own there, especially since Lee Radford took over last year, and spent much of the last campaign on loan at a Bradford Bulls, who were then relegated.
He has now, though, reached a settlement with Hull for the remainder of his final year’s contract, facilitating this permanent move.
Trinity head coach James Webster said: “Joe’s experience will enable us to strengthen a position that we have been looking for more competition in all pre-season.
“We have been patient in that we needed to find a player that could really push for selection that was within what very small amount of budget we had left.
“With him coming to a financial agreement with Hull, that allows us to do so.
“We have been able to pick up yet another player that is hungry, but also extremely good value.”
Arundel admitted: “I am grateful to be able to get this opportunity. It allows me to focus on my game and improve to the standard I know I’m capable of, but to also enjoy playing rugby again.”
Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash has refuted rumours he is about to walk away from the club or sack head coach Iestyn Harris after their poor start to the campaign.
Indeed, he has enlisted the help of friend Tim Sheens, the Australia coach, who will offer advice on building new structures when he arrives on a pre-arranged three-week visit.